Top 4 Writing Apps You Didn’t Know You Needed

Dale Harris

While 81 percent of writers out there think that they could put together a book, the vast majority of them would be wrong. However, one of the things that will get in peoples’ way are the tools that they use and the way they get distracted. With the latest in writing app, professional writers get a boost and new writers get a serious leg up.

Here are four writing apps that you should consider using this year.

1. Ulysses

If you’re looking for a free app—and if you’re a writer, “free” always makes your ears perk up—look no further than Ulysses. This is a great interface for writers who are easily distracted or who struggle when there are too many options available. Writers who need a minimalist interface and a little bit of flexibility are going to love this.

When there’s too much structure and the interface spoon feeds you with goofy elements, you might not be able to focus. Writing any kind of content distraction free is vital when you’re trying to get your best work out there. The only major downside with this one is that is’ only for Mac users.

The interface automatically goes into the background as soon as you start typing. This means that when it’s time to work, Ulysses leaves you to it. That way it’s not hard to sink into your work 100% when you use the interface.

Writing is hard and trying to bounce back after a distraction is harder. If you’re surrounded by devices and notifications trying to get you to do other things, then you should try Ulysses to see if your productivity improves.

2. Adobe Story

If you’re a subscriber to the creative cloud or have the creative suite, you’ve probably dealt with Adobe Story before. For people who are trying to become first-time screenwriters or veteran writers struggling with finding the perfect interface, this might be the one. If you’re looking to produce work more easily and authentically, Story can help.

Adobe Story offers the perfect outlet for your creativity given it allows you to collaborate with other writers or even to send versions out to people reviewing it. This way you’ll get all the feedback you need without any of the clunkiness of other interfaces. This tool works online, which means it’s perfectly suited for shared projects and collaboration/

Relying on the Adobe Integrated Runtime framework, it’s able to be used with any web browser. Once you’ve got an account up and running, it’s pretty much plug and play from there. You also get SmartType to help you speed up and format your script once it figures out you’re using certain elements more often than others.

If you’re using other elements of the Creative Cloud to create your project, this helps to integrate perfectly. When it comes time to put subtitles on your film project, life will be much simpler.

3. Script Studio

For a professional writer, there are few tools out there to compare to script studio. While the initial investment of $200 might be a little bit steep for some writers, it’s a great investment, especially for burgeoning screenwriters. However, with the latest batch of changes, it’s a competitive app for anyone looking to write a novel as well.

You get lots of great features for your investment. If you don’t like to stare at a screen for long hours but do so out of necessity, you get “Night Mode” to help ensure that your eyes aren’t overly strained. In general, you get lots of themes that help you mix things up from time to time.

There’s even a feature that helps you outline your characters as you write. Character spotlight will ask you all kinds of thoughtful questions about each one of your characters as you’re writing. While you might think you have everything fleshed out, Script Studio challenges you to think again.

By asking questions like “What is your character’s greatest regret?” you get the chance to rethink your character building process. Rather than writing them from beginning to end, you’ll be poked and prodded with thoughtful questions that help you understand your own process better.

4. iA Writer

While there are lots of apps out there for writers who struggle to focus, there are few that are as good as iA writer. Being able to be on a laptop, connected to the entire world and with access to all the information in history, makes it hard to even be on a computer. However, applications like iA writer are here to help save us.

Think of this as the Ulysses that can be used on PCs and Android.

This app has very few bells and whistles and instead allows you to focus on your writing. Its main point is to help you to build prose and just write from start to finish. It’s not here for editing text, just to help you write better and faster.

At around $30, it’s also one of the cheapest apps around. If you’re not in need of features that weigh most programs down, this is the perfect app. You get a simple interface for writing so that you can focus.

Look to iA Writer when you’re headed out to a writers’ retreat and need to be one hundred percent distraction-free and focused on what’s ahead of you.

Pair this with the right voice recorder to get your thoughts down and write them in a bare minimum way.

Writing Apps Are Here to Help

If you’ve ever struggled to write in the past, writing apps can help just about any writer. No matter what your problem is, there are apps to assist you with that issue cheaply and easily.